Local woman celebrates her 7th birthday this leap day - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local woman celebrates her 7th birthday this leap day

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Breanna Carlson looks through photos of previous birthdays Breanna Carlson looks through photos of previous birthdays

Yakima, WA - Breanna Carlson lives right here in Yakima, and out of the millions of people in the U.S., she is one of the 187,000 people in the country born on February 29th, a day only comes around every four years - Leap day.  

Born on February 29th, 1988, Carlson remembers when she was younger she didn't realize the rarity of her birthday until she started school, because her family always did a good job on celebrating her birthday on February 28th and some years the celebration would even turn into a two day celebration.

"After I started elementary school, growing up the teachers always have special days, and I remember the teachers asking me when I celebrate your birthday, and I was like what?  Some teachers even thought it was cool and would bring it up, it was a conversation starter," said Carlson.  

"I think it got bigger for me as I went on because I started to realize how unique it was.  I don't know anyone personally who has a leap year birthday, so growing up, some of my friends thought it was cool, and some thought it was sad because they thought I only got a birthday every four years and didn't get to celebrate," said Carlson.

This year, Carlson celebrates her 28th birthday, or 7th birthday, if you only count her actual birth dates.  With a birth date that only comes around every four years, leap day babies like Carlson have encountered some interesting situations.

"The first license I had, when it expired, they had it down to expire for February 29, 2010, when there was no leap year, so technically, my license didn't expire," explained Carlson. "You hear all the jokes, like if you're at the store buying alcohol, sometimes they will say 'oh you're not old enough to buy this yet,' its always something," said Carlson. 

So what is the point of a leap year?  Well, besides causing leap year babies like Carlson to celebrate their birthday on February 28th or March 1st, the scientific reasoning for an extra day every four years is to help the calendar year stay on track with the solar year.  A calendar year is 365 days and six hours, and every four years those six hours add up to 24 hours, so February 29th gets added keep global seasons regulated.

The chances of a person being born on February 29th is one in about 1,500.  

Carlson, the one, says she enjoys celebrating her birthday each year in unique ways.  This year in particular, she plans on hyping up her leap age.  "This year the cake we are getting is a 7-year-old girl themed cake, with a unicorn on top, sprinkles, just a cute pink cake.  We are really playing up the 7-year-old thing," said Carlson.

Another fun benefit of being born on a leap day, Carlson says, is if she starts feeling too old, she can fall back on her leap day age.